The city of Tuscaloosa and the Tuscaloosa Fire Department will be conducting a memorial service this Sunday to honor the first responders who died a decade ago in the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
Although the memorial will have a somber tone, it is intended to be a celebration of the sacrifices made on Sept. 11, 2001 by emergency personnel, said Captain Terry Jacobs of the Fire and Rescue Service.
Speakers at the event will include Tuscaloosa Mayor Walter Maddox, State Representative Bill Poole and the chiefs of the Tuscaloosa Fire and Police Departments,
The ceremony will also include performances from the Stillman College Choir, a world-renowned group of singers that has performed throughout the U.S. and abroad, and the Alabama Choir School Choirs, according to a news release by the City of Tuscaloosa.
Students expressed support for the event, saying that those who perished deserve to be remembered.
“I think this event is a great way to remember those who perished in the line of duty,” said Jenna Ashley, a sophomore majoring in social work. “I think we should have an event every year to make sure we never forget what our police, firefighters, and other ordinary Americans went through on that dreadful day.”
As part of the ceremony, a large piece of steel retrieved from the South Tower of the World Trade Center will be on display.
Students said they had mixed feelings about a part of the World Trade Center being brought to Tuscaloosa.
“I’m not sure that I’m cool with a part of the World Trade Center being brought to Tuscaloosa,” said Chris Smith, a freshman majoring in business. “It just seems a little morbid to bring a part of that building all the way here.”
Others supported the plan to display a part of the World Trade Center at the ceremony.
“I think it’s a great idea for the residents of Tuscaloosa and students of the University to see part of the destruction left behind by the Sept. 11 attacks,” Ashley said. “It reminds us of the horror that our fellow Americans faced that day.”
The city of Tuscaloosa is conducting this event free of charge so that the maximum number of Tuscaloosa residents can participate.
“It is a free event open to the whole community,” Jacobs said. “It is an opportunity to memorialize these heroes and celebrate their sacrifice.”
The Tenth Anniversary Memorial of 9/11 at the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater will take place on Sunday at 6 p.m.